The Nintendo GameCube is a console that holds a special place in the hearts of gamers around the world. Following the success to the Nintendo 64, the console had a lot to live up to. In terms of success, the GameCube fell behind the competition, but that's not because of a lack of content. In fact, Nintendo's lunchbox-looking console is home to some of the best games of the generation.
Unfortunately, much like every console, some really great games were overlooked on the GameCube. So, in memory of those under-appreciated classics, we've listed them. Here are some of the true hidden gems of the GameCube library, certainly worth a look even today.
10 Crazy Taxi
Crazy Taxi is awesome. The game features fast-paced driving, real-life stores to take your clients to, big open cities, and a soundtrack featuring Bad Religion and The Offspring! Its arcade-centric gameplay lends itself to almost unlimited replay value, while the colorful cast of drivers really makes these games scream personality.
There's something special about this port, which is both of its era and timeless at the same time. It's a game that players can consistently come back to, and really one of the best examples of a Dreamcast port on other consoles.
9 Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was the first in a series of Nintendo-exclusive titles involving Square Enix's flagship franchise; titles that took the series in a different direction from the mainline games that had resided mostly on the Sony consoles since the original Playstation. To make things completely different, this title featured less story-driven content and focused more on multiplayer action — highlighting the GameCube/Game Boy Advance link functionality.
That isn't to say there's no plot at all, however. In this title, players are dropped in a caravan that's transporting fuel for crystals which protect towns from the world's poisonous air. Players are tasked with protecting the caravan, all while solving puzzles, wiping out waves of foes and leveling up along the way.
8 Viewtiful Joe
In the era of 3D gaming, a title with a focus on 2D beat 'em up action that was common on consoles from generations before was risky, but Viewtiful Joe proved that players could still get excited about a sidescroller. In this title, players take control of ardent movie fan Joe. When his girlfriend is kidnapped, he's thrust in the lead role of his own action-adventure as he jumps into Movieland to save her. This game is full of personality, with a bright cartoon aesthetic, a unique spin on the beat 'em up genre and a cinematic flair that leaks into the combat.
This game was critically underrated upon its release and eventually ported over to the PlayStation 2. Still, even with that afterthought, this title is still a GameCube legend, one that every fan should have in their library.
7 Skies Of Arcadia: Legends
One thing the GameCube isn't known for is a solid RPG lineup. So, when Sega killed the Dreamcast and started porting their bigger titles over to other consoles, it only made sense to place one of the best JRPGs of the generation on a console desperate for one — and what a fit it was.
Taking place in the sky, players control the pirate party of Vyse, his friend Aika, and Fina as they traverse Arcadia in a race against an evil empire to solve an ancient riddle. If you couldn't tell, this game has a focus on exploration, along with the traditional RPG tropes of leveling up your characters. Sega made sure the title's sky setting wasn't put to waste and allowed players to fly their airships across the world.
6 Billy Hatcher And The Giant Egg
The GameCube was an interesting console solely because it was the first platform that saw Nintendo and Sega put their rivalry aside for good. For many, it was strange to see Dreamcast titles like Skies of Arcadia, Crazy Taxi, and Sonic Adventure on a Nintendo console, but it was even stranger to see a new intellectual property from Sega on the GameCube. That's really what Billy Hatcher And The Giant Egg was, though — a true Sega "exclusive," only available on a Nintendo console.
Developed by Sonic Team, Billy Hatcher And The Giant Egg follows the titular character as he dons a chicken suit to save his home from an evil threat. He does so by rolling big eggs. These cackleberries give Billy special powers like the ability to run faster, dash, and throw. It's a unique game by one of the most celebrated developers in the world — a true hidden gem.
Balancing tasks with energy, Chibi-Robo! is a game featuring a tiny robot who only wants to complete household tasks for the family that owns him, all while dealing with other talking toys and even aliens. The game forces players to balance their actions with energy consumption, as our little robot-man needs to recharge while he collects happy points.
With a cute and unique story, Chibi-Robo! is a little different to other action platformers you'll find. Players are treated to colorful characters, overarching plots, and twisting narratives that make for an unforgettable and charming experience.
4 Super Mario Strikers
Soccer is an international sport adored by millions of people around the world. So, it only felt like a matter of time before we got this sports title. Still, none of us could have expected such a unique --and even violent-- game.
With an emphasis on team play, players build their roster with a captain (consisting of the typical Mushroom Kingdom characters) and players (mostly low-tier enemies and Toad) so they can hit big body checks and score insane goals. It's over the top, fast-paced, and extremely fun. A forgotten franchise in Nintendo's massive library.
3 Kirby's Air Ride
On a console with heavy-hitting racing titles like Mario Kart: Double Dash and F-Zero GX, Kirby's Air Ride is often overlooked. Still, the title has a lot to offer to differentiate itself from other games in the genre.
To start with, it's extremely accessible. With forward movement done automatically, players only need to steer and press A for various actions, like braking or sucking up enemies unfortunate enough to get in your way. The main attractions for many players, however, are the "City Trials," which pit two players in a city where they race to gather upgrades before finally facing off against each other.
2 Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution
When Sega shut down its console division to focus on third-party development, fans of Phantasy Star Online were probably a little nervous. With the Dreamcast's focus on online play, the RPG series really revolutionized how and where gamers can play MMOs. With that in mind, we don't think anyone expected a sequel that ditches the online side of things in favor of card-based combat. With that said, however, Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution is a unique one-off in the series.
Taking place two decades after the events of the first two PSO episodes, the discovery of a powerful light has caused conflict between two warring factions. The energy can be placed inside cards, leading to a new type of warfare that both sides are pushing. As this happens, players are placed dead-center in the middle of this battle and are able to choose sides as they stack their decks to be as effective as possible.
1 Batallion Wars
Mixing third-person shooter mechanics with traditional tactical gameplay, players take control of a variety of units as they play as a battalion commander leading their troops in a war between two nations. Following a surprise attack from another country, the rivals are forced to set their differences aside to stave off an overwhelming threat.
The Wars franchise is one of the most under-appreciated franchises in Nintendo's catalog. Whether it's Advance Wars on Nintendo's handheld family or Batallion Wars on their home consoles, there just doesn't appear to be enough love for this series.